This month I’m really making an effort to keep an eye on the pennies. We’ve got some nice festive gatherings coming up which we want to enjoy and I would like to get a few extra treats in for Christmas week.
Since we are already paying the minimum/best prices currently possible on utilities etc, the obvious areas for me to try and watch are: general spending money (I budget ‘pocket’ money for myself for going out and buying non-food items), food shopping and petrol. This month I am only using my debit card (though I will try to keep around £5-£10 cash on me just in case) and am then recording every purchase in a ‘spending journal’ sheet in my filofax. I’ve just done the weekly shop and it came in at a fantastic £24.04. Using a combination of what I already had and what I’ve bought this evening, this is my plan for the week:
- Tonight: Covent Garden soup (bought yesterday on offer at £1) followed by bread and butter pudding (using a reduced loaf bought yesterday for 36p).
- Saturday: Cereal/Beans on toast/ Lasagne and veg
- Sunday: Cereal/packed lunch (out at band practice) of sandwiches and fruit/ roast chicken thighs, potatoes and parsnips with carrots and broccoli
- Monday: Cereal/packed lunch (sandwiches, fruit and yoghurt)/Stir fry veg with noodles and soy sauce
- Tuesday: Breakfast and lunch as above / Jacket potatoes with beans and cheese followed by apple crumble
- Wednesday: Breakfast & lunch as above / Evening meal at parents 🙂 Later in the evening I will use up most of the remaining vegetables to make some soup
- Thursday: Cereal/Vegetable soup, bread and fruit/ Beef stew (from freezer) with mashed potato
- Friday: Breakfast and lunch as above / Dinner at a friends (will buy/make something on the day to take along)
I’m kind of ‘off’ a lot of cooked vegetables at the moment (something to do with the texture makes me feel nauseous) so I’m making up for it by eating lots of fruit. Tomorrow I will be making a batch of lasagne and a batch of bolognese sauce for the freezer. On Sunday I’ll be using up the chicken that I bought 6 weeks ago and put in the freezer. I might even see if I can squeeze a bit of baking in this weekend.
I always spend more on food when I’m not organised. When I start making a plan for the week I check my diary to see when we are going to be in or out. For example, I know we are going to be out for most of the day on Sunday so I have planned for packed lunches. This means we won’t be tempted to go to the shops when we get hungry! I also know that Mum and Dad will be providing us with a meal on Wednesday so I don’t need to plan anything for that evening. However, I also know that there will be some vegetables left over that might be going past their best by mid-week, hence planning to make some soup. I always try to keep to my plan though, invariably, life gets in the way from time to time. Every now and then it all goes wrong and I end up buying something extra. As it is important to watch my spending at the moment I am going to try to be extra careful!